Amarnath temple- shivji - kashmiri life

Security arrangements in place for a religious trek to Amarnath Yatra

The Amarnath temple (the adobe of immortality), located in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the prominent religious destinations dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. The 5,000 year old temple is situated in a deep, narrow gorge at the farther end of the Himalayan Lidder Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir every year thousand of followers of lord shiva go on amarnath yatra.
Situated at an altitude of 3,888 metres (12,756 ft), 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 kilometres from Baltal, water bodies freeze here in Amarnath. Inside the Amarnath cave, nature works miraculously; stalagmite is formed when the water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor starts to freeze and grows up vertically from the base taking the shape of a ‘Shiv Ling’. The Shivling at Amarnath is made from ice wax during May to August and gradually wane from then on due to a rise in temperature.

amarnath yatra- kashmiri life- BSF- CRPF

One of the miracles of Divine Intervention is the holy ‘Amarnath Cave’ that is located in Jammu and Kashmir.

Each year,lakhs of Hindu devotees from all walks of life plan a trip to Amarnath cave around the ‘Shravan Month’ to pay obeisance to the ice Shiv lingam, and get a darshan of the form of Lord Shiva that is formed inside the cave.
The 5-day trek to Amarnath by the pilgrims, which is 40 miles back and forth, is popularly known as ‘Amarnath Yatra’. Every year during this month, the J&K government organizes the Yatra where almost over 3 to 4 lakh devotees brave extreme weather conditions, adding a touch of adventure, for a darshan of the ice lingam and offering prayers. Extreme & uncertain weather conditions, with temperature at times falling to as low as -5°C are also part of the 5-day trek.

Entrance-to-the-holy-Amarnath-cave-Amarnath-Yatra-amarnath yatra- Pilgrimage - Kashmiri life

The Amarnath Yatra 2017 began from Jammu yesterday (28th June, 2017, Wednesday) amid the highest-ever multi-tier security setup. An intricate arrangement has been put in place by the Govt for the 40 day long annual pilgrimage. The PM of the country has extended all the necessary support to the state keeping in mind the law and order situation of the state.

Security CRPF-BFS - kashmiri life- amarnath yatra

The government has already organised a heavy security blanket including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF for active services. The Amarnath Yatra will be eight days shorter against last year and shall bring to a close on Shravan Purnima i.e. Raksha Bandhan on 7th of August.

amarnath yatra- BSF- CRPF- Kashmiri life

Measures are already in place to ensure an incident free yatra & for the safety and security of pilgrims. High level security arrangements including CCTV cameras, jammers, RoPs, dog squads, bullet-proof bunkers, QRTs, satellite tracking and other security gadgets are being used along with thousands of security personnel guarding the route.
Apart from the existing CRPF in the state, 250 additional companies of paramilitary forces, over 2,000 BSF troops, 5 army battalions and additional 54 companies of police, Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the state police, rescue teams of various security forces, well-equipped fire fighting teams have been deployed at pre-determined points.

pilgrimage camp- kashmiri life- amarnath yatra

Doctors from Safdarjang Hospital, Delhi, have been deputed at Baltal Base Hospital. Oxygen cylinders, ECG machines, defibrillators, oxygen concentrators, CPR machines, X-ray machines, ventilators, resuscitation sets have been installed and all required medicines are also available in the hospital for the pilgrims.
The facility of separate residential accommodation and mess for about 250 medical personnel, including those arriving from different parts of the country also been put in place.

amarnath yatra- kashmiri life- BSF- CRPF

The Govt and CRPF has assured on putting forward all possible measures to overcome the big challenge of ensuring a smooth and incident-free Amarnath Yatra this year.
flavors of kashmir- kashmiri life

Tracing the flavors of Kashmir spices

Kashmir along with its beauty is famous for the mouth-watering Kashmiri cuisine which is popular among the connoisseurs. Jammu and Kashmir, a state in Northern India can boast of several spices that bring out the authentic Kashmiri taste in various dishes.
Spices like Saffron (Kesar), Kashmiri red chili powder (koshur martsivagun or koshur marchwagan), shahi jeera (shahi jeera, black cumin, Kashmiri jeera, Himali jeera, Koshur zur, or kala jeera), which have been used traditionally in the cuisine of Kashmir Valley region. The genuine cuisine from Kashmir is mild in taste and recognized through its rich flavour with the use of different spices.

  • KESAR

Saffron - flavors of Kashmir spices - kashmiri life

The first name that’ll cross your mind whenever we are talking about Kashmiri spices is Saffron (Kesar). Kashmiri Saffron is often called as “Lachha” or “Guchhi”. It is world’s most expensive spice in the world that grows exclusively in the valley. Saffron can be used as a colouring, flavouring agent and as a spice. Saffron has a particular crimson shade and is added in special meals dishes and drinks additionally, that require this spice. The Saffron is derives from a very small plant that grows on well-drained fields of Pampore. It is also known as Soul of ‘Koshur ‘delicacies.

  •  KOSHUR MARCHWAGAN

kashmir lal mirch - flavors of Kashmir spices - kashmiri life

For most of us Indians, what is good food if we are not burning over some red chillies? The pungent taste, bright red colour and off course the freshness is never too bad. Red Chilly, the most integral part of any Kashmiri cuisine is referred to as koshur martsivagun/ koshur marchwagan. It’s present in pod form and is powdered and utilized. It however is gentle in heat and provides a red wine color to make the dish more appealing.

  • SHAHI JEERA

shahi kashmiri jeera -flavors of Kashmir spices- kashmiri life

North Indian cuisine has been influenced by Shahi cuisine as a result a no of highly aromatic spices are found in this region. Shahi Jeera is one such spice being cultivated only in the valley region. Though it might replicate the black common cumin, there’s a vast difference in the flavors. Shahi jeera is a mix of very mildly and slightly sweet notes. Shahi Jeera when cooked gives out an excellent smell of earthiness. This spice is variously called shahi jeera, black cumin, Kashmiri jeera, Himali jeera, Koshur zur.

  • SONTH

dry-ginger-powder-sonth - flavors of Kashmir spices - kashmiri life

In typical Kashmiri gravies a mild brownish powder referred to as sonth or shount is used. It’s actually dried ginger powder a general used spice in Kashmir Valley. Once more its presence is well recognized and added to particular dishes solely. That is distinctive spice comes from fresh ginger that is dried before being used. It is utilized in authentic Kashmiri dishes.

  • BAEDYN

fennel seeds - flavors of Kashmir spices - kashmiri life

Another spice which is used extensively in real Kashmiri cuisine is baedyn. The fennel seed is lightly dry roasted and grounded to a powdered form. It is the main ingredient that is used in many regular veg and non-veg cuisines all over Kashmir. This positively enhances the style and brings a fresh scent of nature to the dishes.

  • ZERESHK

zereshk - flavors of Kashmir spices- kashmiri life

Zereshk is one other spice of Kashmir. These are a mild, slightly sweet, tangy Currant Berries that are utilized in few particular dishes. These seeds are used extensively in Persian dishes. These berries add a gorgeous color and flavor to the dishes. Its use is confined to a handful of dishes.
Kashmir has always been a gourmet’s paradise. Kashmiris are so much particular about their spices and they know the exact combination of spices to get the authentic flavor of a specific dish. So when you land up in Kashmir be sure to be greeted with pure authentic Kashmiri delicacies. Plan a trip soon, we’ve given you a reason to visit Kashmir.

Dances-Of-Kashmir - kashmiri life

Famous Folk Dance forms of Kashmir

The city of Jammu and Kashmir reflects its myriad culture in a beautiful amalgamation of religion, festivals, food, art, crafts, dance and music. Amidst Kashmir’s rich scenic beauty lie its traditional dance forms.

The city is dyed with vibrant hues of its peculiar beauty and its rich traditions. The traditional folk dance preserved by the locals reflects the rustic vigor of the lifestyle of its people. The Folklore of Kashmir is deeply rooted in life of the local people and their passion is reflected in every performance ensuring that such ethos is not lost to future generations.

Get an inside look in the various traditional dance forms of Kashmir:

1. Rouf Dance

Rouf Dance - kashmir - kashmir life
One of the most popular traditional spring time dance of Kashmir is Rouf. This beautiful dance form is usually performed during all the festive occasions, especially during Id and Ramadan days. The dance is performed by a group of women lined up facing each other. The simple yet intricate footwork of Rouf, termed as Chakri in local dialect, is creative therapy as well as an artistic treat.

2. Bhand Pather

Bhand Pather - kashmir - kashmir life

 

Bhand Pather is a fading traditional folk art which is performed in theatres of Kashmir, usually performed in social and cultural functions. It makes a powerful combination of satirical and realistic drama, portraying social traditions and evils.

3. Bhand Jashan

 

Bhand Jashan | Kashmir| kashmir life

Bhand Jashan is another one of the Kashmiri folk dances. A very simple yet attractive dance performed by a group of artists putting on gestures of a clown (Bhand), along with some light music.

4. Bacha Nagma

Bacha Nagma - kashmir - kashmir life

This is one of the major folk dance form where young boys of Kashmir perform, particularly during the harvest season. One of the young boys dresses up as a female dancer, performing in a stage where the music used is quite loud. Dancers clad themselves in rich colorful costumes and move with a lot of grace. The Bacha Nagma dance originated a lot of years ago and is still very much recognized as a popular form of folk dance.

5. Hafiza Dance

Hafiza Dance - kashmir - kashmir life

Hafiza Dance is a popular Kashmiri dance type, performed during wedding ceremonies. The Hafiza dance form is dominated by a popular instrument called the ‘Santoor’.

There is a dire need for preserving and properly promoting the traditional dance forms which will give the local artists a professional platform to present their talent. Dance is a powerful form of communication that helps people get an insight into the rustic lifestyle, the attires, musical instruments and other practices and parts of customs prevalent in a place.